Ladies and Gentlemen, we continue with the Inaugural Bruins Nation Awards.
We shift now from comedy to drama. While we have a lot of laughs and smiles around BN, the true value of this place that really makes it special is the content and quality of its newsworthy posts. When going back through every front page of BN this year, I was struck by just how many thoughtful, intelligent, insightful, and poignant posts there were. The first review narrowed it down to a mere 50 candidates.
Some highlights included BN out-reporting BSPN (more than once), the delirium of football signing day, expert analysis of an historically great baseball team and an historically bad basketball team, national titles in softball and gymnastics, spotlights on the ongoing shenannigans at *$c (more than once), X and O breakdowns that belonged in team meetings, the comprehensive daily roundups and the always exciting and passionate game day threads, and of course, the testimonies and tributes with the passing of Coach.
So with all due respect to the numerous fantastic posts by a wide range of BN members, we selected 5 original posts that speak to the heart and soul of the writers and their subjects, transcend athletics, and were nominated as the best of the best on Bruins Nation.
Please take the time to click on the links in the titles and re-read these incredible stories. The nominees for the best Original Post are...after the jump...
Dad Gets His UCLA Degree!, ucla 7747
This incredible story recounts the posthumous award of an honorary degree to 7747's father-in-law, one of 74 such degrees awarded this year. "Dad" was a Japanese American student at UCLA in 1942 who was forced to leave the state when the U.S. Government ordered that Japanese Americans in California be interned. Dad later joined the U.S. Army, served in Korea, and went on to a career and family, and never had the chance to complete his studies at UCLA. He remained a loyal Bruin though, and his daughter followed his footsteps to Westwood. The account of the ceremony and the stories of those who were so mistreated by their country are incredibly moving. I am proud UCLA honored these men. I am sorry it wasn't done so much sooner. Like 7747, we are all truly proud of Dad's legacy.
The passing of Coach Wooden on June 5 was a sentinel event in many of our lives. The innumerable testimonies and tributes from all walks of life to Coach speak to his greatness as a teacher, as a coach, as a family man, and as a human. This story from RogerT is a great example of how Coach helped turn an awful event into a very special moment for one Bruin. Another great story was told by Crummies relating how Coach remembered his name after years between meetings. We miss you Coach. But stories like these are why we will never ever forget you.
In October, Derek gave us an update on his son, Tyler, the guttiest little Bruin of all. Tyler weathered a difficult year of medical treatments and complications and just kept battling back. Phrases like "relentless optimism" and "always battling" don't go far enough to describe the enormous heart and courage in this one little guy. His participation in UCLA's Dribble For The Cure fundraiser for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation inspired Bruins Nation, and then our parent Sports Blog Nation, to join the fight. The donations poured in, and updates appeared here and here. Tyler was the highest overall fundraiser, and was honored at the center of Wooden Court in Pauley. Through it all, Tyler reminded us that the most important part of UCLA sports isn't what happens on the field or on the floor. It's what happens in the stands, on the sidelines, and in the hearts and minds of all the Bruin faithful.
Stepping Away, Nestor
Our founding father began his hiatus from BN with this post. As one of the founders of BN, he became the driving force that turned this blog from a small sect pushing for a new football coach into one of the most comprehensive and widely read college blogs on the Net. For 5+ years, he was the Scourge of the trogans, and the Voice of BruinsNation. Some may have disagreed with his message or methods, but no one ever questioned his devotion and passion for UCLA, and we are all indebted to him for his labor of love here. This is his site, and we are the caretakers. In what may have been his simplest and most understated post, the litany of comments tells the story.
As BN questioned the disappointment of the 2010 football season, JeremyD confronted the elephant in the room and questioned just how much UCLA the school is willing to commit to athletic excellence, and to recognize the contribution - or the resistance - of the UCLA administration. There is a ton of passion here on BN, but our cries for success may be moot if the school is not willing to provide all the tools needed for the football program to reach its full potential. The numerous comments that followed JeremyD's post attest to the emotion and complicated issues that surround this topic.
Okay, Bruins Nation, those are your the candidates. Which of these posts and threads was the best of 2010? Exercise your democratic responsibility and vote for your favorite. Voting is open for a week. Feel free to include any comments below.